Ferrari V8! 1987 Lancia Thema 8.32 Sport Sedan

Few Americans would suspect this practical-looking ’80s sedan left the factory with a sweet Ferrari V8! In a year when the Chevrolet Corvette made 240 HP, the unassuming Lancia Thema packed 202. This particular Lancia Thema 8-32 in Bayview, California is recently refurbished and seeks a new owner here on craigslist.org where a Ferrari-like asking price of $33,975 can make it yours. Thanks to reader Roger for finding this Italian beauty.

Despite the tidy appearance, the transverse 32-valve V8 gives me the shivers; I count myself a survivor of a valve cover gasket replacement on the wonderful 4.4L Yamaha V8 (also transverse FWD) in my wife’s Volvo XC90. The rule of thumb for a Ferrari is that buyers should plan on dropping $5000 every year to keep it on the road, so consider that before breaking your piggy bank for this Lancia.

With every instrument and component in proper working order, this Italian sport sedan should be ready to enjoy. A proper five-speed manual promises plenty of smiles while exploring the Ferrari power band.

Italian lesson:  “Lancia” is pronounced more like “Lawn-cha,” and less like “Lan-See-Ya.” Though looking somewhat Volvo-like from some angles, the Thema actually shares a platform with the contemporary Saab 9000. Thanks to autopolis.wordpress.com for some details. While its seven second 0-60 time won’t smoke your neighbor’s Hemi Charger, the Lancia’s Ferrari engine does it while singing like Pavarotti. Thanks to the Thema’s rarity and practical appearance, you can blend in with traffic most of the time, saving your fuel for when it brings you joy. The 1987 sticker price of around $57,000 would exceed $127,000 today! How would you enjoy this Italian super-sleeper?

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Comments

  1. George Waddell

    Buy the faster 2.0 litre four cylinder turbo for a lot less. The problem with all old Lancia Thema is finding one that works.

    1
    • Rx7turboII

      $5,000 a year to keep it on the road??!! For what??? Aside from a timing belt once in awhile and a tune-up once in awhile, what the heck would you need to spend that kind of money on a car for to keep it in running order? Sounds more like a Yugo than a Ferrari! LOL

      4
      • Park

        Cause it’s a 40 hour job to do the “occasional” timing belt. And that’s every 12000 miles. That’s a full engine out job for the timing belt which you can count on replacing other items whilst you’re doing that job.

        4
      • Rx7turboII

        Can someone explain to me why you have to do a timing belt every 12,000 miles? I have never understood that about Ferraris and high dollar sports cars. What’s the difference between a timing belt today and a timing belt back then? Were the engines just that sloppy that they ate timing belts or is it just a preventative thing? I can’t see why a timing belt wouldn’t last 50000 miles no matter what kind of engine it was in. Someone enlighten me who knows more than me about Ferraris.

        6
      • K F van der Bijl

        Timing belt is a 4 hour job max . You can do it yourself at home . I owned one , so i know . The belts dont even go round the crankshaft . They go from halfway the engine and then up to the cam . Engine is indistructeble according to someone who has sold more than 8 of this cars in parts . He never sold one engine when i knew him in 2010 . I even think you can do the both belts in 2 hours if you practice .

        2
  2. James

    More like ”Lahn’ chia,” if you ask me.

    1
    • Derek

      Agreed.

  3. t-bone Bob

    wow. Just wow.

  4. Ralph

    I love how US companies get bagged on for bad interiors in the 80’s and look at this thing, it looks like a Chinese Pontiac knock off, its kit car like. I do like that the fake wood continues on to the radio too.

    This looks like a Volvo 740 with a PepBoys grille kit,

    Pass.

    2
    • Larence

      That’s classic a Chinese Pontiac lol 😂 too funny

    • Fiete T.

      My younger daughter, who is 1/2 Eastern European & referred to as “The Model” by a lot of Russian women, saw an LM002 at the local car show about 3 years ago. She had a quizzical look on her face, peered inside at the interior and said,” Is this one of those ‘Kit cars?’ The interior is kind of ugly, like somebody did it in their garage.”

    • RITON

      It’s real wood…with real visible screws to hold it in place!
      The radio is an aftermarket one with real plastic “wood”.

      I would rather go with the 4cyl 16v turbo one performance wise.

      There is a tutorial for the belt drive job in-car.

      I’m not a fan of the K-Jet though.
      One used to be in my neighborhood : very nice sound growling by.

  5. Martin Horrocks

    15000€ buys a good one in Europe. If there is such a thing. This is one of Lancia´s famous answers to a question which no-one had asked.

    The engine is Ferrari, but very modified for this application and built by Ducatti.

    As @George Waddell states, the 2.0 turbo makes more sense.

    1
  6. AUTOVISA

    33K buys you a descent Ferrari Mondial.

    3
  7. BobbyLongshot

    What a beautiful car, full of details: Guigario body style, full set of analog gauges, pretty badging, red spark plug wires, et cetera. But that engine cover reminds me of stacks of dollars, as well it should.

    I’m trying to imagine a lifestyle where I would need this car: If I had a summer home near, but not on, a lake in Italy that I only visited two times a year, and it had a three car garage, and the landscaper was a shade-tree Ferrari mechanic, maybe just maybe this would be one of my cars.

    1
  8. Husky

    The Saab 9000 2,3 turbo Aero, built on the same platform is faster, better and of higher quality…

    3
    • Derek

      Yes, but it has thick pillars and a high bootlid. My dad had one and I disliked it enormously for its lack of visibility (I ride motorbikes too).

      And it doesn’t have a high-revving V8…

      1
  9. SteVen

    “Lancia” is pronounced more like “Lawn-cha,” and less like “Lan-See-Ya.”
    Poor Vicenzo is rolling over in his grave.
    It’s pronounced “LAHN/tchah.”
    Please note when writing pronunciations that the syllable with the emphasis should be in all caps while the other syllables are shown in all lower case.

    2
  10. John

    We have been schooled in the inconsequential.

    1

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